By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), families of about 200,000 children confront injuries associated with unsafe playground areas and equipment annually; an estimated 51,000 incidents / accidents occur on home playground equipment. Most of the injuries result from falls.
Below are some basic strategies parents and other adults can use to reduce the risk of injury on home playgrounds:
1. You alone can prevent injuries from occurring. – Inspect the equipment before you allow your children to play on it and constantly supervise children while playing.
2. Make sure play areas are bordered with proper cushion. – Remember most injuries are the result of children falling from playground equipment. Equipment surrounded with shock absorbing cushion will ensure less severe injuries.
3. What should you avoid? – Play areas surrounded by concrete, asphalt, grass or dirt. Always use protective surfacing.
4. Inspect the play area. The following conditions should be removed, repaired or corrected immediately: (a) unsafe openings as these create head entrapments and increase the risk of strangulation; (b) install guard rails; (c) remove exposed moving parts of play equipment as these create the risk of pinching or crushing; (d) never wear bicycle helmets on playgrounds – helmets can get stuck in the equipment and increase the risk of strangulation; and (e) avoid dressing your children in loose clothing or clothing with strings – these types of clothing can get wrapped around a child’s neck resulting in strangulation.
To read more safety tips and advice regarding playground areas see Simple safety instructions for playgrounds.